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Technologies to Combat Hurricanes by City Tech Blogger Nurbu Sherpa

Climate change is real, as data and studies have shown in previous years, and now the climatic condition in the world is changing rapidly. Climate change can be caused by various things, like the trapping of heat by greenhouse gases or the emission of carbon dioxide through the burning of fossil fuels. Deforestation, urbanization, and industries’ pollution, etc. also contribute. But the result is the same: an increase in the Earth’s average temperature which could lead to various disasters, like hurricanes, to be more frequent.
Tropical hurricanes are generated when masses of cold and warm air collide. Another essential factor is that the sea surface temperature must be greater than 26.5 °C. According to Grim Eidnes, senior research scientist at research organization SINTEF, “the critical temperature threshold at which evaporation is sufficient to promote the development of hurricanes is 26.5 °C. In the case of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in the period August to September 2017, sea surface temperatures were measured at 32 °C.” With this statement we might ask, is it possible to cool the sea surface to below the aforementioned 26.5 °C (79.7 °F)? With this question in mind, some people have suggested towing icebergs to the Gulf of Mexico from the Arctic; others have proposed seeding clouds with sea salt in order to make them whiter, thus increasing their reflectivity and reducing sea surface temperatures. Attempts have been made to use aircraft to release dry ice in the vicinity of hurricanes with the aim of increasing precipitation as a means of dissipating energy. But these methods have failed because of the great expense and impracticality involved. But researchers from Norway have found a way to combat this issue. SINTEF, a large Norwegian based independent research organization, published an article about a method used during the winter season to keep surface sea water from freezing: the method is called a “bubble curtain”.

https://www.maritime-executive.com/blog/preventing-hurricanes-using-air-bubbles

A bubble curtain consists of compressed air bubbles supplied from a perforated pipe lowered in the water, which, when lifted up, takes with it colder water from a deeper part of the ocean. Then at the ocean surface, the cold water mixes with and cools the warm surface water. This method has been used by the Norwegians for many years and has succeeded in keeping their fjords ice-free in the winter. Norwegian researchers think that this same bubble curtain can be used to prevent hurricanes by taking the colder waters found in the depths of the ocean and mixing them with the warmer waters at the surface, hence lowering the sea surface temperature.
Preventing hurricanes in the water is just not enough to ensure the safety needed when the actual disaster occurs. Emerging technologies and research are being conducted and tested on multiple fronts to give engineers, inventors, and entrepreneurs new tools with which they can develop the next generation of hurricane-protection products.

One concern that has been emerging is the housing and home safety issue. The Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) has been researching various effects of Category 4 winds and rain on a full-scale residential building in its test facility. With these studies, IBHS can use the data acquired to improve home safety during disasters. Creating products that tackle water intrusion by integrating inside shade systems significantly reduces the water intrusion. This system consists of an integrated, high-impact synthetic shade which can prevent winds, water, and airborne debris from entering the building – even when the windows’ glass is broken during the storm. Also, researchers have found that the “Tilt and Turn” windows from Europe can also provide a significant reduction in water intrusion.

Satellite monitoring can be very useful in predicting hurricane formation and warning people about it. There have been many new and improved satellite monitoring techniques used by the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite system (GOES). GOES collaborated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to produce increasingly reliable weather forecasts and seasonal predictions. GOES observes various details about a hurricane by monitoring heat and light radiation from the stormy area. Also, infrared channels on the GOES satellites detect the presence of tall, vertical clouds in the hurricane because infrared channels can sense heat radiation.

Also, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) officially stated that the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS), a satellite small enough to probe and inspect the eye and the eye wall, is in the works and will be deployed soon. There are various other NASA satellites that work to predict weather patterns such as Terra and Aqua. These satellites pick up data in 36 spectral bands, or wavelengths, by viewing the entire surface of Earth every one or two days.

Technologies to Combat Hurricanes

Climate change is real, as data and studies have shown in previous years, and now the climatic condition in the world is changing rapidly. Climate change can be caused by various things, like the trapping of heat by greenhouse gases or the emission of carbon dioxide through the burning of fossil fuels. Deforestation, urbanization, and industries’ pollution, etc. also contribute. But the result is the same: an increase in the Earth’s average temperature which could lead to various disasters, like hurricanes, to be more frequent.

Tropical hurricanes are generated when masses of cold and warm air collide. Another essential factor is that the sea surface temperature must be greater than 26.5 °C. According to Grim Eidnes, senior research scientist at research organization SINTEF, “the critical temperature threshold at which evaporation is sufficient to promote the development of hurricanes is 26.5 °C. In the case of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in the period August to September 2017, sea surface temperatures were measured at 32 °C.” With this statement we might ask, is it possible to cool the sea surface to below the aforementioned 26.5 °C (79.7 °F)? With this question in mind, some people have suggested towing icebergs to the Gulf of Mexico from the Arctic; others have proposed seeding clouds with sea salt in order to make them whiter, thus increasing their reflectivity and reducing sea surface temperatures. Attempts have been made to use aircraft to release dry ice in the vicinity of hurricanes with the aim of increasing precipitation as a means of dissipating energy. But these methods have failed because of the great expense and impracticality involved. But researchers from Norway have found a way to combat this issue. SINTEF, a large Norwegian based independent research organization, published an article about a method used during the winter season to keep surface sea water from freezing: the method is called a “bubble curtain”.

A bubble curtain consists of compressed air bubbles supplied from a perforated pipe lowered in the water, which, when lifted up, takes with it colder water from a deeper part of the ocean. Then at the ocean surface, the cold water mixes with and cools the warm surface water. This method has been used by the Norwegians for many years and has succeeded in keeping their fjords ice-free in the winter. Norwegian researchers think that this same bubble curtain can be used to prevent hurricanes by taking the colder waters found in the depths of the ocean and mixing them with the warmer waters at the surface, hence lowering the sea surface temperature.

Preventing hurricanes in the water is just not enough to ensure the safety needed when the actual disaster occurs. Emerging technologies and research are being conducted and tested on multiple fronts to give engineers, inventors, and entrepreneurs new tools with which they can develop the next generation of hurricane-protection products. One concern that has been emerging is the housing and home safety issue. The Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) has been researching various effects of Category 4 winds and rain on a full-scale residential building in its test facility. With these studies, IBHS can use the data acquired to improve home safety during disasters. Creating products that tackle water intrusion by integrating inside shade systems significantly reduces the water intrusion. This system consists of an integrated, high-impact synthetic shade which can prevent winds, water, and airborne debris from entering the building – even when the windows’ glass is broken during the storm. Also, researchers have found that the “Tilt and Turn”
windows from Europe can also provide a significant reduction in water intrusion.

 

https://www.space.com/38097-how-satellites-track-hurricanes-from-space.html

Satellite monitoring can be very useful in predicting hurricane formation and warning people about it. There have been many new and improved satellite monitoring techniques used by the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite system (GOES). GOES collaborated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to produce increasingly reliable weather forecasts and seasonal predictions. GOES observes various details about a hurricane by monitoring heat and light radiation from the stormy area. Also, infrared channels on the GOES satellites detect the presence of tall, vertical clouds in the hurricane because infrared channels can sense heat radiation.

Also, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) officially stated that the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS), a satellite small enough to probe and inspect the eye and the eye wall, is in the works and will be deployed soon. There are various other NASA satellites that work to predict weather patterns such as Terra and Aqua. These satellites pick up data in 36 spectral bands, or wavelengths, by viewing the entire surface of Earth every one or two days.

Sources

  1. https://www.space.com/38097-how-satellites-track-hurricanes-from-space.html
  2. http://www.hurricanescience.org/society/risk/currentandemergingtech/
  3. https://www.sintef.no/en/latest-news/preventing-hurricanes-using-air-bubbles/

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